Practical Issues > Fishing/Hunting Index > Fishing

6 May 2005

A few samples: Sedatives Reduce Stress in Salmon Harvest

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilised.
      - Henry David Thoreau

Crop and food research senior scientist Alistair Jarrett shows Fisheries Minister John Luxton a snapper under sedation

Fresh salmon could taste better than ever, according to the New Zealand developers of a natural salmon anesthetic that is being marketed overseas.  Fisheries Minister John Luxton saw the technology demonstrated on a snapper when he visited the Crop and Food Research Nelson seafood unit yesterday afternoon.  The fish lay in his hands under the influence of the anesthetic, as if dead but for its slightly moving mouth, and posed no threat to his suit.  It was returned to the pool afterward to recover.  Crop and Food Research spokesman Alex Lemon said the anesthetic, AQUI-S, allowed salmon to be sedated before being handled and harvested so stress and exhaustion were minimised.

During the past decade, New Zealand's salmon industry has more than tripled in size, from 2000 tonnes a year to 7500 tonnes.  Seventy per cent of the salmon goes overseas, bringing export earnings of $40 million.  The research institute receives royalties from overseas users of the an�sthetic.  It was developed by the institute with the assistance of the Public Good Science Fund, and was being marketed by the AQUI-S Ltd joint venture company, Mr Lemon said.  The American Food and Drug Administration was considering approving AQUI-S, he added.  AQUI-S New Zealand says the gentle and humane an�sthetic also allows easy harvesting of other fish, such as lobsters and eels.

Source: The Dominion Friday 9 July 1999 photo credit Nelson Mail

Many people who are vegetarians don't give a second thought to eating fish.  Perhaps they've never seen a diver feed fish by hand at a large aquarium.  Some fish, such as groper (grouper in the US) or shortnose sturgeon live for decades (sturgeon aren't considered "mature" until the age of 20; spiny dogfish mature at 24).  Some fish live even longer than a century.  The fish at the aquarium come to recognise the diver  - they welcome him with something very akin to joy and try to steal food from his pockets.  I'd rather eat lettuce, myself.

Anchorage - What might be the largest Pacific halibut ever documented was pulled from the Bering Sea off St Paul Island by the crew of the fishing boat Miss Mary. The 8-foot 2-inch behemoth was estimated at 533 pounds - based on its length, according to crewman Barry Davis of Anchorage.

Source:  9
December 2003 photo from Press

And how old do you suppose that fish was?  Fish this large are colloquially known as "barn doors".  With feelings.

A Goldfish's Day



Goldfish Pass Memory Test

by Mark Henderson

It is time for the scales to fall from our eyes: scientists have claimed not only that goldfish have a memory span of up to three months, but that they can also tell the time.  The fish, previously believed to have a memory of just a few seconds, can distinguish between different times of day and can also be taught to follow a routine, according to research.  Scientists at Plymouth University have successfully trained the fish to collect food at particular times of day, showing the popular notion of the 3-second memory to be very fishy indeed.  The findings add to a growing body of evidence that fish are much more sentient and intelligent than had generally been assumed.

Recent research has suggested that fish feel pain when they are caught on a hook, can be manipulative and socially aware, have long memories and are able to recognise their shoal-mates.  The research, led by Phil Gee of Plymouth University, has added a sophisticated body clock to the piscine intellect.  In his experiment, goldfish were placed in a bowl in which they were fed only when they pressed a lever.  The fish rapidly learnt that pressing the lever produced a food reward.  Once they had been trained in this way, the researchers set up the lever to work for just one hour a day.  The fish soon became wise to this, and learnt to press the lever at the same time every day to feed. "The fish worked out that if they hit the lever around that time, they would get some food," Dr Gee said.  "Their activity around the lever increased enormously just before the set hour when their food was dispensed.  But then if no food came out, they stopped pressing the lever when the hour was up.  It shows that they are probably able to adapt to changes in their circumstances, like any other small animals and birds."

The study could have implications for fish farming.  Dr Gee suggests that it should be possible to train trout and salmon to swim to feeding stations on certain signals, making it easier for farmers to monitor and harvest their stock.

Source:,,172-836881,00.html  1 October 2003
Dear Human,
Why do you think that you're superior to me?
Is it because you can "talk"?
I just speak a different language from yours.
Please don't mistreat me.
Your ignorance is not my fault.
---Cynthia Hendrick "SinDee"



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